The social features in Islamic society
The social features in Islamic society
Create amenability among Muslims
Another example of the efforts that the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) made in order to clear the general atmosphere was that he tried to cleanse Muslims’ hearts of spite and enmity. In the case of the previous example, the Holy Prophet’s (s.w.a.) efforts were focused on creating trust and promoting a healthy atmosphere in society. But in this case, the issue is beyond these things. That is to say, in an Islamic community, Muslims should be encouraged to stop being indifferent to one another. Islam does not approve of Muslims who live their lives and do not want to be involved in the affairs of other Muslims. One chapter in the life of the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) involves his efforts to turn this indifference into affection, cooperation and brotherhood. And this is exactly what we need in our system today.
Muslims should treat each other with affection and compassion and without the slightest indifference. A Muslim must not be indifferent to another Muslim who is a suffering from a particular problem. One of the great things that the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) did was that he created a sense of support, compassion, sympathy and reciprocal affection among Muslims. The Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) would try his best to prevent Muslims from having spite and malevolence against each other in the Islamic community. That is to say, by relying on his wisdom and patience, the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) tried to create enjoyable and wholesome conditions that were imbued with affection.
It has been narrated that a Bedouin – who did not know anything about civilization and ordinary social manners – travels to Medina to visit the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.). He finds the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) among his companions in a mosque or on the road. He asks the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) for something and the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) helps him by, for example, giving him money, food and clothes. Afterwards, the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) asks the man: “I tried to be kind to you. Are you happy?” Because of his background and crude manners – which is typical of such people – that man who was not happy with what he had received from the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.), said: “No, you did not do anything for me. You did not do me any favors. Basically, what you gave me was nothing.”
His crude behavior towards the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) was understandably unacceptable to his companions. Everybody became angry. Some of the Holy Prophet’s (s.w.a.) companions wanted to react to the Bedouin’s behavior, but the Holy Prophet said: “No, do not say anything to him. I will handle this issue myself.” He left his companions and took the man to his house. Clearly, the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) did not have anything else with him to give to the man, otherwise he would have done so. He took the man to his house and gave him other things, such as food, clothes or money. Then he asked the man: “Are you happy now?” The man said: “Yes.” He felt ashamed by the generosity and patience of the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) and he finally said that he was happy.
The Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) told him: “Earlier you said certain things in front of my companions and made them angry. Do you want to go to them and tell them that you are happy now?” The man said: “Yes, I do.” The Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) took the man to his companions on the same day or the day after. Addressing his companions, the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) said: “This Arab brother feels that he is happy with me now. If you are happy, you may say so.” The man started to praise the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) and said that he was happy and grateful to the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) for his kindness. He said what he wanted to say and left.
After the man had left, addressing his companions, the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) said: “That Arab man is analogous to a camel that has strayed away from its herd and shepherd and is running away into the desert. As my friends, you run after him in order to bring him back to me. But this move makes him more frightened and less likely to return. I did not let you scare him away more than you already had. I went after him with love and affection and I made him return to us.” This was the technique of the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.).
The existence of even the slightest spite and enmity in the Islamic community was unacceptable to the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.). He tried to create affection and friendship among the people of his society. Even when Islam spread to other areas and the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) managed to capture Mecca, he granted a general amnesty for the people of Mecca. The people of Mecca were the same people who had forced the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) out of the city. The Holy Prophet (s.w.a.), who used to live in Mecca, tolerated all the sufferings in Mecca for 13 years. And later on there were several battles between his army and the army of Mecca. Many Muslims had been killed by the people of Mecca and Muslims had also killed people from Mecca. If the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) had decided to enter the city of Mecca with feelings of animosity, for many years it would have been impossible to make peace with the people of Mecca.
Therefore, as soon as he arrived in Mecca, the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) announced: “You are free.” (1) He announced that he had granted a general amnesty. He pardoned Quraysh and put an end to everything.
One of the things that the Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) did during the early months after he had settled in Medina was that he made Muslims take an oath of brotherhood. When we call a person our brother, this is not ceremonial gesture in Islam. That is to say, Muslims are like brothers to one another and they have the same rights and obligations as brothers do. Just as brothers have certain rights and obligations in their relationship, so do religious brothers in Islam. The Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) translated this into action.
The Holy Prophet (s.w.a.) created a sense of brotherhood among Muslims. He did not pay attention to the previous social distinctions and aristocratic backgrounds of the people of Medina and Quraysh. He made a black slave the brother of a great personality and a slave that had been freed, the brother of a famous aristocrat from Bani Hashim or Quraysh. In any case, this brotherhood enjoyed various dimensions and one of the most important purposes was to help Muslims feel like brothers.
1. Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 97, P. 59
Reference:Lessons from the Holy Prophet of Islam (s.w.a.)
A selection of statements by Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei on the personality and be’that of the Holy Prophet of Islam (s.w.a.)